For many, the Holidays are filled with celebrations and time spent with loved ones – which often means gathering with friends or meeting for drinks at your hometown bar. As we often say, life is supposed to be enjoyed – everything in moderation! So while we strongly encourage you to embrace the holiday spirit and enjoy your favorite festive libations, we also know that no one enjoys a pesky hangover. But fear not! Week One of our Hack the Holidays series includes 5 steps to naturally cure a hangover – just in time for the holiday season to kick off!
Although there is no way to avoid a hangover completely, there are some extremely helpful steps you can take to minimize the hangover effect and still enjoy yourself the next day!
1. Water, water, water!
You have heard this time and time again, but there’s a reason for it – staying hydrated is one of the most sure-fire ways you can avoid a hangover the next day. Alcohol is a diuretic, which can ultimately lead to dehydration (which increases the hangover effect).
Whether you’re drinking or not, we recommend drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces every day (i.e., if you weigh 100lbs, drink a minimum of 50 oz of water). So, on a day when you know that you will be drinking, make sure you at least hit this marker – and then some!
Once you start drinking, make sure you have a glass of water on hand, as well. Continue to drink this throughout the night. When you’ve finally had your last sip of alcohol, this is the time to really start hydrating. Continue to drink water right up until you go to bed – even if that means waking up in the night to use the bathroom, it’s worth it to avoid a hangover!
Keep yourself hydrated well into the next day, so make sure to drink a big glass of water upon waking! For an added electrolyte boost, try drinking pure coconut water. It is great for hydrating your body after a night of drinking, and since coconut water is an alkaline substance, it will regulate your body’s pH levels, too!
2. What You Drink (and How Much) Matters
Not all alcohol is created the same, and the type of alcohol you drink plays a major role in the severity of a hangover. The more impurities an alcoholic beverage has (think chemicals added during the distillation process), the more intense the side effects will be. With that said, we recommend sticking with higher-quality, lower-sugar alcohol.
A general rule of thumb is to stay away from darker liquors, such as rum, whiskey and rye. The clearer the beverage, the better off you will be. This means that vodka and tequila are two of the cleanest options. While wine is a holiday favorite, most are high in sugar, which increases your chance of a hangover. If you can’t pass on a glass of wine, just remember that the same rule applies – stick with white (clearer) over red (darker)!
When enjoying a drink, stick with sugar-free mixers, too. Mixing vodka with cranberry juice or tonic increases the sugar content significantly. Stick with a sugar-free mixer such as club soda or pure lemon juice.
Of course, the amount you drink greatly affects how you will feel the next day. It is always in your own best interest to not overdo it and consume all alcoholic beverages in moderation (think no more than two glasses)! Your odds of avoiding a hangover will increase significantly and we promise that you will still have a great time!
3. Embrace the Supplements
Taking herbal supplements and vitamins are your secret weapon when it comes to minimizing the effects of a hangover. These natural remedies can decrease headaches, fatigue, an upset stomach, as well as boost your immunity (which takes a big hit when you consume alcohol) and allow the liver detoxification process to work to its maximum potential! Listed below are some natural herbs, supplements and vitamins that are available for purchase on Fullscript, our ready-to-order online store that dropships directly to your address:
Take 1c of methylated B-complex BEFORE drinking, as well as 1c when you get home. Take another 1c of B-complex in AM when you wake up.
Milk Thistle is great to take at night before bed, as well as when you wake up
Activated Charcoal helps with absorbing toxins from alcohol
Ginger Tea for upset stomach/nausea
Vitamin C to boost your immunity and detoxify the liver
4. Nutrient-Dense Food is Your Best Friend
We always recommend eating nutrient-dense, whole foods at DLW, and that certainly doesn’t change when it comes to a night of drinking. While we know it’s easy to reach for the basket of fries or order your favorite greasy breakfast sandwich the next morning, your body greatly benefits from consuming healthier foods containing complex carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables. These help your body to absorb the alcohol and get out of your system faster.
More than anything, it is imperative to have food in your stomach before, during and after you drink. Drinking on an empty stomach is harsh on your digestive system and makes it challenging to metabolize the alcohol. When you have food in your stomach, your body is more easily able to break down the alcohol. At the very least, try having a handful of nuts before you drink – they help to coat the stomach!
5. Increase Sleep, Decrease Hang-xiety
It should come as no surprise that one of the best things you can do is get a solid night’s sleep. Not only does it allow your body to rest and restore, but a lack of sleep is a major contributing factor to the ever-dreaded anxiety that may come along with a hangover. When we are running low on sleep, we also tend to make unhealthy choices, which may cause us to feel worse both physically and mentally.
To aid in relaxation and stress reduction, try taking Chamomile. Whether you consume a Chamomile tea or supplement, this herb is naturally calming and may reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, while also allowing you to fall asleep more easily.